Christy Moore is not a man to be trifled with, as the two gentlemen sat directly in front of me tonight found out. As they drunkenly waved and shouted, swigging from soft drinks bottles which contained anything other than Ribena, you could see Moore getting increasingly frustrated. To his credit he tried to diffuse it, responding with Delirium Tremens and having a bit of a joke, but they were too far gone for subtlety and in the end he gave them short shrift, calling them pricks and promising to have them ‘sorted out’, taken away and given their money back if they interrupted him one more time.
This incident really seemed to set the tone for the night – have a sing along and a laugh at Christy’s invitation during the likes of Don’t Forget Your Shovel, but don’t test the patience of a man who takes his material very seriously indeed. The rest of his two and a quarter hour long set, flanked by guitarist Declan Sinnott and percussionist Jimmy Higgins, was only paused to allow Sinnott to take center stage, performing Blood Is Rushing Through These Veins from his 2012 release I Love The Noise It Makes.
It’s hard to imagine too many artists capable of holding an audience’s attention so completely for that length of time, but the sheer variety of musical influences and topics he moves through in the course of the set means he could have gone on for many more (although probably dehydrated himself severely given the level of effort he consistently expends). Over the course of the evening we move from South Africa and Biko Drum, to his brother Luka Bloom’s In The City of Chicago and back to his native Ireland for the traditional Black Is The Colour. Ultimately Missing You, Ordinary Man, Ride On and the fateful moment when Ray Houghton scores in Joxer Goes To Stuttgart elicit the biggest cheers of the night, but he is on truly fine form throughout.